As the coronavirus wreaks havoc across the world, health organisations are facing increasing challenges. The NHS in the UK has been under pressure for a decade and this latest health crisis is pushing it to the limit.
Despite financial aid being provided to cover the cost of care, there are other unique challenges the organisation is facing. Here, we’ll look at some of the challenges the NHS is facing throughout the coronavirus crisis.
The shortage of doctors and nurses
Just one challenge the NHS has faced in this health crisis is a shortage of doctors and nurses. The government has addressed this issue by asking thousands of retired NHS staff to temporarily return to work. While this doesn’t solve the entire issue, it does relieve a lot of the pressure the sector is facing regarding staff shortages.
Staff who have retired within the last three years are being urged to go back. They are set to be assessed to see how they could potentially best help the NHS throughout the outbreak. Student nurses and medical students in their last year are also being considered to help close the shortage gap.
Another major worry for NHS workers right now is the lack of protective equipment. Some experts have even admitted they feel like “lambs to the slaughter” as they treat coronavirus victims with very little safety equipment to protect themselves and their families.
The government is working on getting more vital equipment to frontline staff. However, it is taking time and thousands of workers remain at risk.
The digital challenges involved
Alongside the physical challenges caused by the coronavirus, there are also digital challenges for the NHS too. The Secretary of State for Health & Social Care has asked NHS Digital to collect and analyse data surrounding the coronavirus. This will help NHS staff better understand the virus, identify patients at risk and look at how the healthcare system is addressing the virus.
The trouble is, not everyone in the country is being tested. This means exact statistics for how much of an impact the virus is having, cannot be produced. There are also issues around data privacy after stricter laws were introduced. These are just a couple of the digital issues presented right now. It is vital the NHS comes up with effective analytics solutions to solve the current challenges.
The NHS has notoriously struggled for years to cope with demand. Now as coronavirus sweeps the country, they are being placed under even more pressure. Although measures introduced so far are helping to an extent, experts warn a lot more needs to be done.